Georgetown Real Estate Professional, Jeff Arnold, Discusses The Topic Of Pre-Need Planning

Jeff Arnold, SERS Senior Realty Your Local Color.ComPlanning for the end of your life is a difficult subject to discuss at any age. No one knows what’s coming next, but your eminent passing could not possibly be one of the options, right? Well, not so much for me just now. Now that I find myself in my mid 50s, I catch myself thinking about that subject more frequently. It’s not a morbid curiosity, it’s because people I know who are around my age are starting to pass away.

Gulp!!

Yogi Berra is credited with saying, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Well, here’s a prediction I am prepared to make now: I will die. I’m not especially looking forward to that fact, I’m just closer to that day now than ever before, and I know it isn’t such a remote possibility. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling’s Ideas On Staging Your Kitchen For Your Home’s Sale

Dorothy Smiling The KitchenThe kitchen was where the real business of our family life happened in the home where I grew up.  We would gather there literally from all over the world.  Mom’s relatives from England would show up in that room.  Dad’s old war buddies and his extended family from Ohio would make their way to that kitchen from time to time.  My brothers and sister would make a beeline straight to that kitchen as they started or finished their many trips out of and back to Waco.  Girlfriends, boyfriends, wives and husbands, new grand kids, college roommates, and anybody that tagged along with one of us for a cup of tea and a bite to eat were welcomed by mom and dad into that room, and they always had a place around that table.

It was also a place where we hashed out our family issues.  Believe me, there were11375019_1 a few.  My brother Philip was always happy to point out a little dent in mom’s knotty pine cabinet door that was the result of a disagreement he had with her.  As I recall, the dent was caused by a small frying pan that my tiny mom snatched off of the stove and winged at his head.  It missed his head, made a dent in the cabinet and created a family story that never grows old and always makes us laugh – always.  I could never look at that spot on the cabinet again without a belly laugh.

Tea_Party_in_the_KitchenI know, I know…  A little too personal, right?  No!  That was us, that’s what happened in that room, and that is who we still are.  We were and are a lot of things, but polished and elegant are not qualities you would use to describe us.  Neither was that room.  It was just as rough and interesting as the family that filled it.  It was very much like the living room I told you about earlier.  The same knotty pine panels were on the kitchen wainscoting and on the cabinets.  Faux wrought iron cabinet handles, dark forest green tiles on the counters, and the same wagon wheel chandelier that hung in the living room was right above the kitchen table.  That wagon wheel chandelier didn’t last long.  Dad would constantly bang his bald head on it, swear and send it swinging wildly.  When mom finally updated the kitchen, it was bye-bye wagon wheel.

Dorothy says that the kitchen is the “heart of the house.”  It certainly was for our family. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling Helps You Get Your Home Office Ready For Your Home’s Sale

Dorothy Smailing Home Office 3I have had a fully functioning home office since the fall of 1986 when I started graduate school. That’s a long time ago. At the time, I thought my next office would be a cubicle in some corporate anthill in Dallas or Houston. Boy was I wrong. My first job out of graduate school was as a sales representative in the Texas Panhandle for a pharmaceutical company. That is a long way from Dallas or Houston.  A home office was expected to be something that I would provide for myself and I did. That was 27 years ago and my home office is still a huge part of my life and our home. I could have never dreamed of launching this blog without it.

Home offices are a sought after part of  the American home now. They are also a tremendous value-added feature of most new homes.  If you don’t have one it can be a deal breaker on the sale of a home.  Corporate cutbacks, the shrinking job market, flexible working arrangements and increases in contract labor jobs for American workers are all macro economic conditions that make the home office a must have for more and more home buyers. If you have a room in your home that is specifically created for that function, you are ahead of a seller who does not. [Read more…]

Georgetown Real Estate Professional, Jeff Arnold, Shares About The Importance Of The Listing Agreement To A Senior Homeowner

Jeff Arnold, SRES, Georgetown TexasIt’s not easy selling the home you’ve lived in for more than twenty years. In every corner, on every bookshelf and in every room there is a special memory. Its emotionally wrenching to let it all go and that is just the beginning of the considerations you must keep in mind. There are so many hurdles to leap over, and to get it done with the least amount of emotional pain, the senior home owner and their family are going to need some help.

Enlisting the help of your adult children or other family members is a good first step. “Many hands make light work” they say. However, even with the enthusiastic and sincere help of family and friends, you are still in for some strong headwinds if you don’t line your ducks up early on.

One duck you really want to line up first is your real estate agent. Don’t even get me started on “for sale by owner.” I bought a Sell Your Own Home For Dummies book years ago, and I didn’t get out of the first chapter senior-couple-and-real-estate-agentbefore I ran screaming to the real estate section of the yellow pages. Hiring a real estate agent was the best first decision we made selling any of our homes. I can say first hand that getting a competent and understanding real estate agent is well worth it and an essential first step for any home owner. Period. [Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling Gives Great Advice On Getting Your Dining Room In Shape For A Sale

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayIn the home I grew up in we had a formal dining room. We didn’t use it all that much, but it was my mom’s pride and joy. The main spot where family and friends gathered for conversation, meals, snacks and tea – no coffee for us because mom was English, don’t you know! – was the kitchen table. However, mom wasn’t one of those people who wouldn’t let you into the dining room unless it was being used. You know that type! The kind of person who would basically rope off the dining room with some fancy type of crime scene tape, and start sweating bullets if you get anywhere near it. Mom was nothing like that, but she always kept it tidy, spotless and ready for action.

Mom eventually got a large, beautiful china cabinet where she showed off her good china, crystal, and the rest of her 4e33_1pretty stuff. The room was large with a huge picture window, that when the curtains and blinds were open, would flood the room with light. We had an old Grundig stereo console that worked perfectly as a buffet table in a pinch. It was boxy, rectangular and long and it had a beautiful dark finish. It was a classic design straight out of the ‘50s. You could just imagine Fred MacMurray standing by it in a smoking jacket and holding a smoldering pipe. Mom would throw a pretty cover over the stereo’s cabinet and set it up right nice.

Oval Queen Anne TableThen there was the table. It had a beautiful, dark wood stain with Queen Anne legs and classically tapered edge. The chairs were just like it except they had cloth seat covers. Mom was over the moon about it. It was the room’s center piece. We used it at Thanksgiving and Christmas pretty exclusively. There were other infrequent occasions when the whole crew– there were a lot of us – got together for some family hoedown when it served extra duty, but it was mainly Christmas and Thanksgiving. [Read more…]

Georgetown Real Estate Professional, Jeff Arnold, Shares About The Three Biggest Concerns Of The Senior Home Owner

Jeff Arnold, SRES of Texas Land & LifestyleSo you’re sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with your adult son. Everybody’s all caught up on kids, spouse, job and politics, and then conversation turns to the future. Not his future, but your future. You think to yourself that this is the time to get the ball rolling. You glance over at your wife of almost 50 years. As your eyes meet, you can see she knows exactly what you’re thinking, and she gives you a smile and a nod. You quickly get up and leave the kitchen and head over to your office. When you get back you dump a stack of real estate brochures on the table.

Your son frowns a little as he thumbs through the stack. He’s a smart kid with a good head on his shoulders. If anybody can help you make sense of this whole thing, he can. You and your wife are staring holes through him as he finally looks up. You can tell he knows this is really going to happen. He knows that you’re serious, and to your relief, you can tell he’s going to take this on. After all, you’re family.

[Read more…]

Home Staging: Dorothy Featherling Shares Her Ideas And Tips To Get Your Living Room Ready For A Sale

Dorothy Featherling - EntrywayThe living room used to be the center of family life in the American home. It certainly was for me while I was growing up. I can still see my mom and dad in their easy chairs watching TV, snacking on salted peanuts or M&Ms, and a cat on a lap or two. Memories of me and my pets curled up by the fire place watching Little Joe and Ben Cartwright tame the old west are as clear today as if they just happened.

The people who lived in our house before mom and dad bought it must have been very interesting. The living room had a red brick fireplace with a beautiful oak mantle, the rest of the room was decorated with a western theme. Tan, horse-head covered wall paper and a huge wagon wheel chandelier were two features that stand out. Dark knotty pine wainscoting surrounded the room, and, of course, my dad’s gun cabinet along the back wall. I think the wagon wheel chandelier might even still be there.

I can remember every detail about that room and all of the changes. Over time mom and dad – mainly mom – tweaked it, changing the carpet a time or two, getting rid of the horse-head wall paper, adding built in bookshelves, and creating a large opening to the dinging room. I think my memories are so strong because we shared so much life there. Warts and all, in that room we were a family. [Read more…]

Georgetown Real Estate Professional, Jeff Arnold, Shares About The Needs Of The Senior Home Owner

SERS Senior Realty (5)So you’re sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with your retired parents. Soon the conversation turns to the future. Not your future, but their future. For a while now, they have been hinting at selling their home and moving into something that would be easier to manage – a home that is more suited to their changing physical condition. Dad leaves the table and comes back with a stack of brochures and real estate material and he puts it on the table. Next you hear them ask you to help them make sense of it all. You look down at the stack and then up at their faces. From the look on their faces you can see that this time they are serious, and just a little mystified.

Gulp!! Okay, okay, I’m a grownup. I can handle this.

That’s what family is for, right? We help each other get over these life hurdles, but this is a big one! Okay, think, think! It’s been ten years since you bought your own home, and you’ve forgotten most of what you learned about that. The laws have changed. You can’t even remember the name of the agent who you worked with back then. Mom uses a walker now, so I have to think about that. Dad can’t see so well anymore – that’s something I need to consider. They’ve been in their home for more than 30 years, and it’s gonna need some work before it can be sold. We’re gonna have to sort through all that stuff in the garage? Wait, what about that new couple in Sunday school? Didn’t she say she just got her real estate license? My Spouse!! The kids!! My job!! How am I going to get this all done?

Good Lord!! I was really hoping to relax this weekend. I better call my sister and brother. We have a lot of work to do. [Read more…]

Georgetown’s Own – Bubba’s Beez Explains How It’s Done

Bubba's Beez Raw Honey Georgetown TexasI can’t really remember exactly what I was doing when I was fourteen. I vaguely remember countless hours puttering around Waco and Bellmead on my little Yamaha motorcycle and wishing I was sixteen so I could get a part-time job maybe sacking groceries. I really didn’t have a clue. Good Lord, I was fourteen.

A year or so earlier I talked my mom and dad into taking out a note on a motorcycle with grandiose promises of paying them back with all the money I would make throwing papers. After mowing lawns, that was pretty much the only job you could get when you were that young. The plan was water tight but reality was all full of holes. I was a terrible paper boy. My first month, I made a total of 10 dollars after I paid the Waco Tribune what I owed them and the note on my motorcycle was $40/month. After a few more months like that I threw in the towel. Mom and dad started to get a little concerned. This was 1974 and forty dollars was not chump change.

What a tough time for most kids – seriously. Personally, I couldn’t have felt more adrift if I had been on an iceberg in the ocean. It seemed like life was just a waiting game. I wouldn’t go through those years again for anything.

However, I just met a fourteen year old who is nothing like the ne’re-do-well that I was. Bubba Duke of Bubba’s beez is a man with a plan. His plan is to become a master beekeeper and he is well on his way. [Read more…]

Georgtown’s Own – Arts Avenue For Kids

Arts Avenue for Kids Georgetown TexasVicki Henderson is one of those rare and fortunate individuals who has known what she was meant to do almost all of her life. From the age of five Vicki was involved in theater, performing first at church and later in high school and then college. Vicki’s talents and energies received additional focus while when she was in high school. It was at that time that she felt a calling to serve God through her theatrical talents.

Mrs. Henderson now is the owner of a Christian theater, dance, and music studio for local kids in Georgetown called Arts Avenue for Kids. Her journey to Georgetown took her across the United States but most notably through Colorado, Minnesota, Chicago, Round Rock, Austin and finally to her studio on East University Drive just west of Southwestern University. Before starting Arts Avenue for Kids, Vicki also found time to earn three degrees, write and perform in her own plays, find a husband, and have three children. One of those children, Ashlyn, was the subject of an earlier story I did about her wonderful handmade soaps and doll clothes.

Arts Avenue for Kids Georgetown Texas

Vicki’s performing days went well beyond her college years. She has worked for several different theater groups along the way and at one point wrote and stared in her own one-woman play Elsa that is fascinating and beautiful story about a Holocaust survivor. Vicki traveled across the U.S. for 10 years performing Elsa. Please take some time to learn more about the play Elsa on the attached video. [Read more…]